If you are like me, you should be adequately sick of lockdown’s, pandemics, vaccines and all the selfishness, idiocy and apathy that we’ve seen by now. I could have a quick rant about that but like most toxic subjects, it’s probably best to keep one’s opinion to one’s self.
Right. I was bored yesterday. Couldn’t go out on the bike, wasn’t feeling it indoors either so I started looking at events on my radar for 2021.
First up, the Mad March Hare Sportive. The event I created some 12 years ago I think. Honestly, I will probably never ride it again. My entry is in this year as it was carried over from 2020. It’s now so far removed from what I loved about it, any future rides would be just for the sake of it and I’m not spunking 40 quid for that. I organised seven editions and then my friends Dan and Corinne took over the reigns and kept the spirit of it alive. They did an awesome job with the event, taking it up a level and more with some inspired features but still retaining that small, friendly event feel. The difference between my first event and this year’s is quite stark.
Cards on the table. Dan and Corrine very kindly used to give me a free entry to their events so I would donate my entry fee to charity
The original event was run out of a village hall. 150 riders, £7.50 entry fee, NO parking just on the road, a free bacon bap at the finish and myself dressed up as a Hare!!! For 2021, 2000 riders, £40 entry fee, expensive cycling kit, £13 a month club (WTF!), an app + a load of other nonsense. Now, it’s just a commercial money-making machine which is fine for those involved and they clearly have demand for it too but personally I’m not feeling it and as I so often do. I vote with my feet. Maybe I’ll get over myself and change my mind in the future. Can’t see when though right now.
If lockdown is eased enough by April, I may revisit my planned Radnor Ring 3 -day short tour. The Radnor Ring loop has been on my radar for a few years now and I’d eventually got my shit together to ride it last year only for COVID to scupper that plan. Just three days. Day 1 is a lumpy 50 mile amble to Presteigne, Day 2 tackle the 84 mile route itself then Day 3 ride back home. I was lucky to get some touring in last year. Just 3 days to Babbacombe which relit my fire for it. The sooner I can reload my panniers again the better.
May be, May be not
Another route on my radar is the famous North Coast 500 in Scotland but being so far away and remote I’d actually looked into an organised tour and, by accident, found this one by Pedal Britain last year. Me being me, it had to be a challenge so I looked into their five day version. Great. I pencilled it in and waited to see what happens with COVID. I looked again yesterday and it’s sold out, so May is a free month now for something else.
The June calendar is empty too. Maybe I’ll just ride my bike without any plans
The Two Ton Tour has been going a few years now. It first got my attention as it was originally held on my birthday weekend. I’d never been able to enter because I had Dan but then when it fell on a Dan-free weekend a couple of years ago they moved it to the weekend before. Then COVID killed it last year but now it’s provisionally back on for 2021. Entries open this week and right now its between probable and definite I will enter.
The premise is simple. It starts at the Ludlow Brewing Co and you ride 100 miles to Aberystwyth over the Cambrian Mountains on Saturday staying the night at the Uni Campus, then you ride back 100 miles (different route) on Sunday. 2 days, 200 miles to the seaside and back, 16,500ft of climbing + some beer. What’s not to like?
I haven’t got anything else planned for the year beyond July. Hopefully the world be a more open, safer place and some normaility will resume. I’m sure there is another tour in there and I’ve also been looking at Audaxes too but they seem to sell out super quick so I might try a daft permanent on a nice day instead. If you don’t know what a permanent is, learn something new here
5 thoughts on “Two Tons of Mad Hare”
Audax in Ireland seems a different scene to the UK. I can only think of one event that had a maximum attendance and that’s because the organiser feeds everyone back at his house afterwards and can only take a certain number. It’s one of the late winter ones so a hot meal is a great idea. Covid killed that last year but hopefully he can stage it this year.
Audax also killed the organised Sportive for me. Common entry fee here is €5 and while you end up spending money on food at least it’s your own choice and you can always bring your own. No queues at food tents and the atmosphere is completely different. My local big Sportive (Sligo) was €30 in 2016 with food and a free jersey with proceeds in aid of Special Needs. Think it was €60 in 2019 and run by a private company 😔
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I used to make money on my sportive just to keep my shop going through winter and I capped entry fees @ £25. I vowed never to go above that even when entries got to 1200. Out of that the local scout group got a chunk + my nominated charity. I don’t begrudge people making money, its just a shame the atmosphere changes like you say. Think I’ve done one maybe two Audaxes in my life lol
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That two ton tour looks spectacular!